Dumpster-diving has crossed the Atlantic to get a toe-hold in Australia. Originally from America the practice of going through people’s rubbish for edibles and sellable items has gained a following in Sydney.

Dish & Dirt is a blog for Sydney dumpster divers. It rdiscusses techniques founded by ‘frregans’ to maximise your foraging, negotiating with security guards and business owners, and ways to benefit from the throw-away society we currently live in.

According to the blog Australians are huge wasters of food. They estimate a whopping 20 per cent of all edibles bought into the average Australian household end up in the bin. Such trash is another person’s treasure, able to feed or enrich those who with a canny eye and the means to convert it into cash.

Dumpster-diving is illegal when done on private property. But often the owner or guards will look the other way. There’s no loss for them if someone wishes to look through their trash. Sometimes there is even a net benefit as, when in the case of some businesses, they’re rubbish removal bill is reduced because of having less rubbish.

The most startling element of the movement is that it is not only done by the homeless and indigent. Full time workers, some with high paying jobs, are trying their hand at dumpster-diving and saving hundreds of dollars are year in grocery bills.

Matt Malone, originally from America, says he is making thousands of dollars a year by scavenging through other people’s rubbish for saleable goods. By day he works as a security specialist for Slait Consulting, he also has his own start-up security business Assero security. Despite already earning six figures a year he enjoys and engages in a lucrative sideline of dumpster –diving.

He spoke to Wired about the profits to be had by anyone willing to look and prepared to fix up items that might only have small faults. Mr Malone believed if he were to quit his current jobs and dumpster dive full time he could earn a cool $320,000 a year.

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